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IBM Solar Collector Harnesses the Power of 2,000 Suns ("another mind-blowing technology")

IBM Solar Collector Harnesses the Power of 2,000 Suns ("another mind-blowing technology") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it
IBM's High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal system will be able to concentrate light to the power of 2,000 suns while also providing fresh water and cool air.

IBM claims that it would require only two percent of the Sahara’s total area to supply the world’s energy needs. The HCPVT system is designed around a huge parabolic dish covered in mirror facets. The dish is supported and controlled by a tracking system that moves along with the sun. Sun rays reflect off of the mirror into receivers containing triple junction photovoltaic chips, each able to convert 200-250 watts over eight hours. Combined hundred of the chips provide 25 kilowatts of electricity.

The entire dish is cooled with liquids that are 10 times more effective than passive air methods, keeping the HCPVT safe to operate at a concentration of 2,000 times on average, and up to 5,000 times the power of the sun. The direct cooling technique is inspired by the branched blood supply system of the human body and has already been used to cool high performance computers like the Aquasar. The system will also be able to create fresh water by passing 90 degree Celsius liquid through a distillation system that vaporizes and desalinates up to 40 liters each day while still generating electricity. It will also be able to amazingly offer air conditioning by a thermal drive absorption chiller that converts heat through silica gel. ...

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Toxic air could lead to mental health problems ("could this also be the reason why we have so many lunatics in our cities")

Toxic air could lead to mental health problems ("could this also be the reason why we have so many lunatics in our cities") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The higher the level of particulates in the air, a new study shows, the greater the indications of psychological distress.

The higher the level of particulates in the air, a new study shows, the greater the indications of psychological distress.

“This is really setting out a new trajectory around the health effects of air pollution,” says Anjum Hajat, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington.

“The effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health and lung diseases like asthma are well established, but this area of brain health is a newer area of research,” Hajat says.

Where a person lives can make a big difference to health and quality of life. Scientists have identified “social determinants” of physical and mental well-being, such as availability of healthy foods at local grocers, access to nature, or neighborhood safety.

Previously, researchers have found association between air pollution and behavior changes—spending less time outside, for instance, or leading a more sedentary lifestyle—that can be related to psychological distress or social isolation.

The researchers found that the risk of psychological distress increased alongside the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. For example, in areas with high levels of pollution (21 micrograms per cubic meter), psychological distress scores were 17 percent higher than in areas with low levels of pollution (5 micrograms per cubic meter). 

Another finding: Every increase in pollution of 5 micrograms per cubic meter had the same effect as a 1.5-year loss in education.

Bert Guevara's insight:
So aside from cardiovascular health and lung diseases, mental issues come with "dirty" air. Is that the reason why we have many lunatics in the city?

"The higher the level of particulates in the air, a new study shows, the greater the indications of psychological distress.
“The effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health and lung diseases like asthma are well established, but this area of brain health is a newer area of research,” Hajat says."
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Monster heat wave reaches Greenland, bringing rain and melting its ice sheet ("the melting gets worse with record heat levels")

Monster heat wave reaches Greenland, bringing rain and melting its ice sheet ("the melting gets worse with record heat levels") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission warns the ice sheet is more at risk to global warming than we knew.

It’s been unusually warm in the United States in recent days, with records being set across the country. But it’s been scorching in Greenland, with temperatures as much as 54° above normal, which means above freezing in many places. 

And this comes on the heels of new research from NASA’s aptly-named Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, which finds that the enormous ice sheet is far more unstable than we realized. That’s bad news because the Greenland ice sheet contains enough land-locked ice to raise sea levels by over 20 feet.

But in a place like Greenland, a monster heat wave this time of year pushes temperatures above freezing. It hit the upper 30s in many coastal towns — with rain forecast in some — which means actual melting over parts of the great ice sheet that should be adding ice right now, not losing it.

As Robert Fanney, a former threat analyst and author of Robert Scribbler’s Blog, explained Monday, this heat wave “will generate brief surface melt conditions for parts of Greenland during late November.”

The Geophysical Research Letters study found “new pathways by which AW [Atlantic Waters] can access glaciers with marine-based basins, thereby highlighting sectors of Greenland that are most vulnerable to future oceanic forcing,” which is worsened by global warming. They found that “between 30 and 100% more glaciers are potentially exposed” to Atlantic waters than had been previously thought.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Many people don't even know where Greenland is on the map, but it is undergoing major climate change impacts that will affect the planet. The melting is mostly happening underneath, where it is hard to measure. It will just break out when it is too late to do anything.

"The bottom line is that over half of the entire ice sheet may be at risk from this underwater melting. We knew that global warming is leading to more of the kind of monster heatwaves that intensify and extend the surface melt season on Greenland — the kind it is now experiencing. But we are learning that global warming poses a potentially larger risk to underwater melt from warming ocean waters."
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How Nicaragua is becoming a renewable energy paradise ("amazing resolve to solve their energy needs")

How Nicaragua is becoming a renewable energy paradise ("amazing resolve to solve their energy needs") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Buffeted by extreme weather, the country is turning wind and volcanic heat into energy

“We copied and pasted a law from Guatemala,” says Zamora. “Ten years ago this country was generating 85 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuels, now its 52 per cent renewables.” 

The net result is that the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere has been described as a renewable energy paradise by the World Bank. The country’s energy minister Salvador Mansell has now set a target of 90 per cent renewables by 2027.

Nicaragua already contributes very little to global emissions – only 0.03 per cent of the global total. Its per capita figure is tiny by world and Irish standards. Now it’s committed to cutting them even further, by joining the Paris Agreement, having taken a contrarian stand at the start by refusing to sign. Its negotiator Paul Oquist had said Nicaragua wouldn’t be an accomplice to driving the world to destruction.

But once Donald Trump announced that he planned to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Nicaragua had a change of heart. Being repeatedly mentioned in the same sentence as Syria and Donald Trump doesn’t do a lot for your international reputation, even if your argument was that the agreement didn’t go far enough.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Their political will is admirable. It only proves that there is a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

“We copied and pasted a law from Guatemala,” says Zamora. “Ten years ago this country was generating 85 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuels, now its 52 per cent renewables.” The net result is that the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere has been described as a renewable energy paradise by the World Bank. The country’s energy minister Salvador Mansell has now set a target of 90 per cent renewables by 2027.
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Renewable Energy from Evaporating Water ("another fantastic idea that can change the energy game")

With very good reason, there is a big drive to promote sustainable energy sources around the world, but could one of the most efficient possible renewables be being ignored? That is what a new study carried out by researchers at Columbia University suggests. Based on their calculations, the United States could harvest 325 gigawatts of power — around 70 percent of the power it currently produces — by using evaporating water from U.S. lakes and reservoirs.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Believe it or not!

"One of the researchers’ main findings is that the amount of power which can be generated from a given area of water surface is comparable to the current state of other sustainable energy methods, such as wind and solar power. However, what gives evaporation-based renewables the edge is the fact that it is less intermittent than other sustainable energy types — meaning that it can generate power when they are unable to."
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The 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? They're all flawed ("used for fake news?")

The 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? They're all flawed ("used for fake news?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A review of scientific papers that indicate climate change is not real, not harmful, or not man-made shows all of them to be flawed in some way.

It’s often said that of all the published scientific research on climate change, 97% of the papers conclude that global warming is real, problematic for the planet, and has been exacerbated by human activity.

But what about those 3% of papers that reach contrary conclusions? Some skeptics have suggested that the authors of studies indicating that climate change is not real, not harmful, or not man-made are bravely standing up for the truth, like maverick thinkers of the past. (Galileo is often invoked, though his fellow scientists mostly agreed with his conclusions—it was church leaders who tried to suppress them.)

Not so, according to a review published in the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology. The researchers tried to replicate the results of those 3% of papers—a common way to test scientific studies—and found biased, faulty results.

“Every single one of those analyses had an error—in their assumptions, methodology, or analysis—that, when corrected, brought their results into line with the scientific consensus,” Hayhoe wrote in a Facebook post.

Broadly, there were three main errors in the papers denying climate change. Many had cherry-picked the results that conveniently supported their conclusion, while ignoring other context or records. Then there were some that applied inappropriate “curve-fitting”—in which they would step farther and farther away from data until the points matched the curve of their choosing. 

And of course, sometimes the papers just ignored physics altogether. “In many cases, shortcomings are due to insufficient model evaluation, leading to results that are not universally valid but rather are an artifact of a particular experimental setup,” the authors write.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The debate on climate change is now heavily in favor of the pro's. The anti's are losing credibility.

“Broadly, there were three main errors in the papers denying climate change. Many had cherry-picked the results that conveniently supported their conclusion, while ignoring other context or records. Then there were some that applied inappropriate “curve-fitting”—in which they would step farther and farther away from data until the points matched the curve of their choosing. 
"And of course, sometimes the papers just ignored physics altogether. “In many cases, shortcomings are due to insufficient model evaluation, leading to results that are not universally valid but rather are an artifact of a particular experimental setup,” the authors write."
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One million premature deaths linked to ozone air pollution - SEI ("regional cooperation needed")

One million premature deaths linked to ozone air pollution - SEI ("regional cooperation needed") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

SEI has been providing knowledge and solutions for sustainability since 1989.

A new article to be published today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives quantifies the global impact of long-term ozone exposure on respiratory mortality. It finds that in 2010, long-term outdoor exposure to ozone air pollution contributed to about 1 million premature respiratory deaths globally – or approximately one in five of all respiratory deaths. This is substantially larger (125%) than previous estimates of the global health impacts of ozone (~0.4 million premature respiratory deaths).

The largest contribution to global ozone-attributable respiratory deaths was from Asia, which accounted for about 79% of the total one million global estimated deaths. India alone accounted for about 400,000, and China for about another 270,000. Africa, Europe and North America each had between 50,000 and 60,000 ozone-attributable deaths, with fewer in Latin America and Oceania.

“Our colleagues from countries such as Ghana, Peru, Nigeria and Bangladesh have highlighted the importance of air pollution impacts on health as a motivation for reducing emissions,” said SEI’s Policy Director Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, co-author of the study and a member of the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel. “Knowing that reducing outdoor air pollution, including ozone, could make an even larger contribution to improving health, provides a compelling new reason to invest in actions reducing emissions.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Is the Philippines aware of ozone air pollution and the rising mortality rate?

“To reduce ozone pollution, you need to control emissions of different precursors from many different sources,” Kuylenstierna said. “This includes emissions from road transport, household energy use, as well as methane emissions from agriculture.”
“It is important to realize that action needs to be taken on all the major sources,” Kuylenstierna added. “The long-range transport of ozone means that to reduce ozone, action is needed on local, national, regional and global scales. That means that regional cooperation often is needed to solve the problem.”
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We Saved The Ozone. Here’s How We Can Save Everything Else ("adopt the proven protocol of Montreal")

We Saved The Ozone. Here’s How We Can Save Everything Else ("adopt the proven protocol of Montreal") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A little good news in the midst of a rough week.

Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, a 1989 treaty and global effort to eliminate the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), we’ve successfully repaired the Earth’s ozone. This legislative win, according to a recent study published in Geophysical Research Letters, had the happy side effect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and blunting some of the effects of climate change overall.

As climate policy manager and economist Rachel Cleetus told Gizmodo, “This is something that’s been talked about for a while, this dual benefit of the Montreal Protocol limiting damage to the ozone layer, also curtailing climate change. It’s because all these ozone depleting substances are also very potent global warming gases.”

In the ’80s, climate scientists realized CFCs and HCFCs – heat-catching chemicals most commonly used as refrigerator coolants – were tearing holes in our planet’s atmosphere. The Montreal Protocol drew upon this evidence to enact laws that would have global repercussions, but it wasn’t until this latest study the rest of us learned about the benefits the United States has since incurred.

Head researcher and study writer Lei Hu used the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s atmospheric monitoring network to determine that eliminating these pollutants had the same effect as cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 170 million tons each year from 2008 to 2014. Hu and her team further estimated that maintaining the Montreal Protocol could help the U.S. cut an additional 500 million tons of CO2 by 2025 – that’s about a quarter of the emissions we need to cut in order to fulfill the Paris climate agreement, Gizmodo reports.

Bert Guevara's insight:
It's like hitting two birds with one stone!

"Head researcher and study writer Lei Hu used the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s atmospheric monitoring network to determine that eliminating these pollutants had the same effect as cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 170 million tons each year from 2008 to 2014. Hu and her team further estimated that maintaining the Montreal Protocol could help the U.S. cut an additional 500 million tons of CO2 by 2025 – that’s about a quarter of the emissions we need to cut in order to fulfill the Paris climate agreement, Gizmodo reports."
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Climate Change Will Make Parts of South Asia Unlivable ("if we can't stay outdoors, agri declines")

Climate Change Will Make Parts of South Asia Unlivable ("if we can't stay outdoors, agri declines") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Temperatures in heavily populated South Asia will exceed habitable levels by the end of this century without efforts to stem climate change

Researchers behind the study, published in the journal Science Advances, found that 4% percent of the South Asian population is expected to experience temperature and humidity conditions in which humans cannot survive without air conditioning by 2100. Three quarters of the population will experience environmental conditions considered dangerous, even if not downright unlivable.

The effects of unchecked temperature rise would extend beyond the health concerns associated with being outside in high temperatures. With workers unable to stay outdoors for extended periods of time, the region's economy and agricultural output would decline, experts say. “With the disruption to the agricultural production, it doesn’t need to be the heat wave itself that kills people," says study author Elfatih Eltahir, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a press release. "Production will go down, so potentially everyone will suffer.”

Currently, extreme unhealthy temperatures in South Asia—a region that includes India, Pakistan and Bangladesh—affect around 15% of the region's population. A number of deadly extreme weather events in the region reflect that reality, including a 2015 heat wave that killed more than 2,500 people.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Can you imagine a world where people can no longer work outdoors? Can plants and animals survive the outdoors? 
Even if the Philippines is not mentioned, it is also very vulnerable to climate change.

"South Asia ranks high on lists of the most threatened regions, but it is far from the only place where scientists say global warming could change the fabric of society. In a 2015 study in the journal Nature Climate Change, Eltahir found that a number of Persian Gulf cities would reach similarly unlivable temperature thresholds by 2100.
"We have built entire infrastructures with particular temperatures in mind," Matthew T. Huber, an associate professor of geography at Syracuse University, told TIME earlier this year. "When temperatures get really high, we don’t have the material capacity to deal with that."
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Isle de Jean Charles from the documentary LAST STAND ON THE ISLAND ("painful reality of rising seas")

Isle de Jean Charles in the bayous of Louisiana is sinking into the Gulf of Mexico due to climate change, causing its residents to relocate. This is just one symptom of climate change and emphasizes the urgent necessity to fight it.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This scenario of sinking islands is happening in many parts of the world. The threat of mass migration is on top of the current migration due to disasters, war and terrorism.

"Isle de Jean Charles in the bayous of Louisiana is sinking into the Gulf of Mexico due to climate change, causing its residents to relocate. This is just one symptom of climate change and emphasizes the urgent necessity to fight it."
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What a Difference Half A Degree Makes—Just Look At The Last 50 Yrs ("we're treading dangerous times")

What a Difference Half A Degree Makes—Just Look At The Last 50 Yrs ("we're treading dangerous times") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Researchers now know the difference half a degree can make. They can tell you why 1.5°C warming would be better than a 2°C climb in average global temperatures, because even half a degree Celsius could mean greater extremes of heat, more overwhelming rainfall, and longer spells of warm weather.

And they know all this because they’ve seen it happen in the recent past. There is enough evidence, they say, in the observational record for the last half century to underline the importance of even half a degree.

In the last two centuries, the ratio of carbon dioxide, the result of extravagant fossil fuel use since the Industrial Revolution, has risen from around 280 parts per million to 400 ppm, and average global temperatures have risen around 1°C during that time.

The researchers matched temperature and climate records for the years 1960 to 1979 and 1991 to 2010, a period when the thermometer averages climbed by a whole half a degree.

They found that the intensity of extreme rainfall had increased by 9% over that period. The coldest winters were measurably less cold, and half of the global land mass had experienced changes of what they called “warm spell duration” of more than six days.

It is not that perceptible global warming made these extremes happen – extremes happen anyway – but the researchers think it made them more likely. By raising the temperature, humans loaded the climate dice.

“The hottest summer temperatures increased by more than 1°C in a quarter of global land areas, while the coldest winter temperatures warmed by more than 2.5°C,” said Peter Pfleiderer, a scientist with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and for Climate Analytics.

Bert Guevara's insight:
If all these debates on average global temperature increases and climate change do not interest you anymore, then probably you missed out on the violent changes these will make to our planet. 
I realize that the debates are numbing at times, but we are living in the "swing" times when we can't afford not to be part of the mitigation efforts.

“As we’re moving increasingly outside of the range of natural climate variability, we have to expect that impacts on agriculture, human and biological systems will be more pronounced.”
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Why California's Climate Change Fight Is Also About Public Health ("the issue goes beyond economics")

Why California's Climate Change Fight Is Also About Public Health ("the issue goes beyond economics") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

In California, addressing climate change isn't just about saving the world from rising sea levels, intense heat and extreme weather

Thanks to its sprawling cities, heavy reliance on cars and an enormous agriculture industry, California has long been among the most polluted states in the nation. Today, eight out of ten Californians live in a county with toxic air that contributes to a range of health problems such as asthma, heart disease and even lung cancer. 

The connection is straightforward: the same sources of emissions that cause global warming also produce pollutants that damage human health. Targeting those sources, like power plants, factories and vehicles, fights climate change and also improves human health. And no place in the country stands to benefit more than California.

"In California, we need to address our climate pollution problem, and we need to address our air quality problem," says Adrian Martinez, an attorney at the environmental law firm Earthjustice who works on clean air enforcement. "The goals go hand in hand. We need to drastically decrease the amount of fossil fuels we combust."

In the more than 25 years since California launched its program, the prospect of embracing zero-emissions vehicles on a large scale has become increasingly possible. In places without California’s pollution problem, global warming has led policymakers to move away from the internal combustion engine. A range of countries from Norway to China have set electric vehicle targets. And, with the writing on the wall, automakers have pushed ahead with technological advances to meet the demand.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Progress doesn't have to go linear towards more pollution. There are other ways to progress! This message is not only for America, but for all other cities and nations that are striving for faster economic growth, including the Philippines.

"The connection is straightforward: the same sources of emissions that cause global warming also produce pollutants that damage human health. Targeting those sources, like power plants, factories and vehicles, fights climate change and also improves human health. And no place in the country stands to benefit more than California."
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Tom Schueneman's curator insight, June 17, 4:56 PM
A direct connection between climate and human health? Of course.
 
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WATCH: Almost everything you know about clean energy is outdated ("different world from 3 years ago")

WATCH: Almost everything you know about clean energy is outdated ("different world from 3 years ago") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

At least, that was the message at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Summit in New York City last week. In his must-see keynote talk, BNEF founder and chair Michael Liebreich explained that if…

BNEF has been at the forefront of documenting the clean energy revolution, which continues to be ignored or misreported by major media outlets like the New York Times. 

At last year’s summit, Leibreich debunked the myth promoted by Bill Gates and others that we needed a clean energy miracle to solve the climate problem, in a keynote titled “In Search of the Miraculous.”

Over the past four decades, for every doubling in scale of the solar industry, the price of solar modules has dropped roughly 26 percent. Thanks to sustained long-term deployment programs, “we’ve seen the costs come down by a factor of 150 since 1975. We’ve seen volume up by [a factor of] 115,000,” Liebreich said. 

“How much more miracle-y do you need your miracles to be?” he asked. 

This year, Liebreich’s message was that the “miracle” has gone mainstream.

Last April, the cheapest contract for unsubsidized solar was 3.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), Liebreich said. A year later, it has fallen 25 percent to just 2.7 cents/kWh. Last year, unsubsidized offshore wind was going for 5.3 cents/kWh. Now it is 4.9 cents/kWh. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. 

“These are the record prices,” Liebreich noted, “but nonetheless, they’ve become the normal prices shortly after.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
The odds have tilted in favor of renewable energy, or haven't you heard?

"Average global prices dropped so sharply in the last year — 17 percent for solar generation, 18 percent for onshore wind, 28 percent for offshore—that even though renewable energy investment was down last year, the total renewable installations were up."
The fact that investment in renewables continues to top that for fossil fuels by two to one led Liebreich to say, “I keep telling people, this is not ‘alternative energy’. This is just mainstream, power-generating technology.”
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Walmart just pledged to eliminate a billion tons of greenhouse gas ("big footprinters can matter")

Walmart just pledged to eliminate a billion tons of greenhouse gas ("big footprinters can matter") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Project Gigaton is kind of like getting every Canadian to sign a strict sustainability pledge.

But what Walmart does matters. 

It’s hardly the first example of a business charging ahead on climate change mitigation while governments dither. Pretty much every giant corporation has made a commitment to reduce its emissions: food titan Unilever, everything maker General Electric, and IKEA (where you get your OMLOPPs), and on and on.

The company is such a behemoth that its policy changes trigger transformation around the globe. Walmart is the 10th largest economic entity in the world, after Canada, so this effort, dubbed “Project Gigaton,” is akin to every Canadian signing on to a strict sustainability plan. 

Most of Walmart’s environmental footprint comes from other businesses extracting raw materials to manufacture Walmart’s products. So it will be pushing its suppliers to clean up their act, aiming to slash a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain. 

The Environmental Defense Fund has been working with Walmart to cut its emissions for years, and so there’s a track record here. In 2010, Walmart pledged to cut 28 million metric tons (like removing 6 million cars from the road), then surpassed that goal in five years. Now, they’re aiming to meet a goal 35 times larger, by 2030.


Bert Guevara's insight:
Big Business can make a dent in improving the climate because it can make giant steps that they can implement easier. Pretty much every giant corporation has made a commitment to reduce its emissions: food titan Unilever, everything maker General Electric, and IKEA (where you get your OMLOPPs), and on and on. 

"But what Walmart does matters. The company is such a behemoth that its policy changes trigger transformation around the globe. Walmart is the 10th largest economic entity in the world, after Canada, so this effort, dubbed “Project Gigaton,” is akin to every Canadian signing on to a strict sustainability plan.
"The Environmental Defense Fund has been working with Walmart to cut its emissions for years, and so there’s a track record here. In 2010, Walmart pledged to cut 28 million metric tons (like removing 6 million cars from the road), then surpassed that goal in five years. Now, they’re aiming to meet a goal 35 times larger, by 2030."
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Conserving Forests Could Cut Carbon Emissions As Much As Getting Rid of Every Car on Earth | World Resources Institute ("let's do our share now!")

Conserving Forests Could Cut Carbon Emissions As Much As Getting Rid of Every Car on Earth | World Resources Institute ("let's do our share now!") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

New research from WRI and others shows that stopping deforestation, restoring forests and improving forestry practices could cost-effectively remove 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or as much as eliminating 1.5 billion cars.

In fact, forests are key to at least six of the study’s 20 “natural climate solutions,” which could collectively reduce 11.3 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. That’s as much as halting global oil consumption, and would get us one-third of the way toward limiting global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels — the threshold for avoiding catastrophic effects of climate change — by 2030.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is more doable than all the other "far-out" technologies being presented. Let's stop fighting and start working together!!!

"New analysis from The Nature Conservancy, WRI and others estimates that stopping deforestation, restoring forests and improving forestry practices could cost-effectively remove 7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, or as much as eliminating 1.5 billion cars—more than all of the cars in the world today!"
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Scientists warn of 'giant leap backward' at climate talks ("bad news - the 3-year lull in co2 emissions will rebound")

Scientists warn of 'giant leap backward' at climate talks ("bad news - the 3-year lull in co2 emissions will rebound") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

CO2 emissions, flat since 2014, are forecast to rise 2% in 2017, dashing hopes they had peaked, scientists report at 12-day negotiations in the German city of Bonn ending Friday.

Carbon dioxide emissions are set to rise this year after a 3-year pause, scientists said at UN climate talks Monday, November 13, warning that "time is running out," even as White House officials used the occasion to champion the fossil fuels that drive global warming.

CO2 emissions, flat since 2014, were forecast to rise 2% in 2017, dashing hopes they had peaked, scientists reported at 12-day negotiations in the German city of Bonn ending Friday.

"The news that emissions are rising after a 3-year hiatus is a giant leap backward for humankind," said Amy Luers, a climate policy advisor to Barack Obama and executive director of Future Earth, which co-sponsored the research.

Global CO2 emissions for 2017 were estimated at a record 41 billion tons. 

"Time is running out on our ability to keep warming below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), let alone 1.5 C," said lead author Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

The 196-nation Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, calls for capping global warming at 2 C below pre-industrial levels.

With the planet out of kilter after only one degree of warming – enough to amplify deadly heatwaves, droughts, and superstorms – the treaty also vows to explore the feasibility of holding the line at 1.5 C.Some scientists, for example, have concluded that the planet's surface has already warmed enough -- 1.1 degrees Celsius (2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) on average -- in the last 150 years to lock in the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which holds enough frozen water to lift global oceans by six or seven metres. It may take 1,000 years, but – if they are right – the ice sheet will melt no matter how quickly humanity draws down the greenhouse gases that continue to drive global warming.Some scientists, for example, have concluded that the planet's surface has already warmed enough -- 1.1 degrees Celsius (2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) on average -- in the last 150 years to lock in the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which holds enough frozen water to lift global oceans by six or seven metres. It may take 1,000 years, but – if they are right – the ice sheet will melt no matter how quickly humanity draws down the greenhouse gases that continue to drive global warming.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The planet is like a slow-cooker that shows drastic consequences every once in a while.

"Some scientists, for example, have concluded that the planet's surface has already warmed enough -- 1.1 degrees Celsius (2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) on average -- in the last 150 years to lock in the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which holds enough frozen water to lift global oceans by six or seven metres. 
"It may take 1,000 years, but – if they are right – the ice sheet will melt no matter how quickly humanity draws down the greenhouse gases that continue to drive global warming."
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‘Negligence, greed harming Earth’ – Pope Francis ("even pope is convinced of urgency of CC action")

‘Negligence, greed harming Earth’ – Pope Francis ("even pope is convinced of urgency of CC action") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Rome — Pope Francis demanded Monday that world governments collectively commit to end rising world hunger by resolving the conflicts and climate change-related disasters that force people to leave their homes in search of their daily bread.

He cited the Paris climate accord, in which governments committed to capping heat-trapping emissions, as an example of taking action to fight global warming based on scientific evidence. But in what appeared to be a jab at the United States, which has announced it is withdrawing from the accord, Francis lamented that “unfortunately some are distancing themselves from it.”

Francis said negligence and greed over the world’s limited resources are harming the planet and its most vulnerable people, forcing many to abandon their homes in search of work and food.

“We are called to propose a change in lifestyle and the use of resources,” Francis told the audience, which included agriculture ministers from the Group of Seven nations. “We cannot make do by saying ‘someone else will do it.’”

Last month, the UN reported that the number of chronically hungry people in the world was rising again after a decade of declines thanks to prolonged conflicts and climate change-related floods and droughts. While the 815 million chronically undernourished people last year is still below the 900 million registered in 2000, the U.N. warned that the increase “is cause for great concern.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
“We cannot make do by saying ‘someone else will do it.’” - Pope Francis

"Last month, the UN reported that the number of chronically hungry people in the world was rising again after a decade of declines thanks to prolonged conflicts and climate change-related floods and droughts. While the 815 million chronically undernourished people last year is still below the 900 million registered in 2000, the U.N. warned that the increase “is cause for great concern.”
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Climate Change Is Already Making People Sicker ("effects of CC on health are becoming more complex")

Climate Change Is Already Making People Sicker ("effects of CC on health are becoming more complex") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Climate change is a prominent topic at the United Nations General Assembly, and the link to health is becoming more apparent.

The impact of climate change on global health is also becoming increasingly clear. At the end of last week, the United Nations released a report showing that global hunger is on the rise; 38 million more people were affected in 2016 than in 2015. Climate change and the spread of violent conflicts are responsible, the report says. Other research has linked climate change to increased respiratory problems, poor nutrition, the spread of infectious disease and even anxiety.

Leaders at the UN say that while more countries are explicitly calling out these risks to health now than in the past, there’s still more work to do. “I think it’s clear quite a few countries, particularly in the developing world where air pollution is high, see that there is an opportunity to reduce climate change and improve health,” said Nick Nuttall, spokesperson for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during an interview Wednesday. “But the issue still has a ways to go.”

The recent tragic weather events have provided an opening for those conversations. “These hurricane or flooding events have huge implications for water quality,” says Nuttall, citing the risk for things like sewage and other chemicals to get into floodwater and spread. The risk for mosquito-borne diseases ranging from dengue fever to Zika can increase as floods recede, leaving breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other insects.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The destructive effects of Climate Change on the environment have direct impacts on global health. The U.N. is raising the alarm level.

"The impact of climate change on global health is also becoming increasingly clear. At the end of last week, the United Nations released a report showing that global hunger is on the rise; 38 million more people were affected in 2016 than in 2015. Climate change and the spread of violent conflicts are responsible, the report says. Other research has linked climate change to increased respiratory problems, poor nutrition, the spread of infectious disease and even anxiety."
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The One Number That Shows Why Climate Change Is Making Hurricane Season Worse ("7% more per degree")

The One Number That Shows Why Climate Change Is Making Hurricane Season Worse ("7% more per degree") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have reignited discussions about the link between global warming and extreme weather. This one number shows why.

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have reignited discussions about the link between global warming and extreme weather, with climate scientists now saying they can show the connections between the two phenomena better than ever before. 

Scientists' explanation of how they do that involves a complex discussion of climate models, historical temperature data and probability. But understanding the link really comes down to one figure: the air can hold 7% more water with every degree Celsius that the temperature rises. That figure comes from the Clausius–Clapeyron equation, a widely accepted physical law established centuries ago long before any politicized debate on climate change. 

“A warmer ocean makes a warmer atmosphere, a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture,” says Gabriel Vecchi, a professor of geosciences at Princeton University who studies extreme weather events. “So, all other things equal, the same storm in a warmer planet would give you more rainfall.”

"You fit all the data together and ask what is the likelihood for 100 millimeters, 200 millimeters of precipitation," said study co-author Sarah Kapnick, a researcher at the NOAA, before the Harvey hit Texas. "As you get to higher and higher values of precipitation it becomes less and less likely without climate change."

Bert Guevara's insight:
I tend to agree with this correlation - the air can hold 7% more water for every degree Celsius of temperature rise. This is bad news for the planet.

"... But understanding the link really comes down to one figure: the air can hold 7% more water with every degree Celsius that the temperature rises. That figure comes from the Clausius–Clapeyron equation, a widely accepted physical law established centuries ago long before any politicized debate on climate change.
"As you get to higher and higher values of precipitation it becomes less and less likely without climate change."
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Harvard study: Exxon 'misled the public' on climate change for nearly 40 years ("fake climate news?")

Harvard study: Exxon 'misled the public' on climate change for nearly 40 years ("fake climate news?") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

For nearly 40 years ExxonMobil publicly raised doubt about the dangers of climate change even as scientists and execs inside the oil giant acknowledged the growing threat internally, according to a Harvard University study.

"We conclude that ExxonMobil misled the public," the researchers wrote in the peer-reviewed study that was published on Wednesday.

Exxon dismissed the Harvard study as "inaccurate and preposterous," saying in a statement that the research was "paid for, written and published by activists."

The Harvard researchers examined 187 public and private communications from Exxon about climate change between 1977 and 2014, ranging from internal documents and peer-reviewed studies to company pamphlets and editorial-style advertisements in The New York Times known as "advertorials."

The study found that the more public-facing the Exxon communication, the more doubt it expressed about climate change.

Exxon's advertorials "overwhelmingly emphasized only the uncertainties, promoting a narrative inconsistent with the views of most climate scientists, including ExxonMobil's own," the Harvard study concluded.

Exxon's internal communications broadly acknowledged that global warming is "real, human-caused, serious and solvable," the research found.

Bert Guevara's insight:
It's really time to listen carefully to science and expose the false propagandists!

"Exxon's internal communications broadly acknowledged that global warming is "real, human-caused, serious and solvable," the research found.
"About 80% of Exxon's internal documents that were examined acknowledged that climate change is both real and human-caused, compared with just 12% of advertorials published in the op-ed pages of the Times. Doubt was expressed by 81% of Exxon's advertorials."
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Yes, You Can Blame Climate Change for Extreme Weather ("scientists are now certain & can declare it")

Yes, You Can Blame Climate Change for Extreme Weather ("scientists are now certain & can declare it") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Climate scientists have long avoided saying they can attribute any event to climate change. But thanks to new research, that's changing.

The report notes that every extreme weather event analyzed to date would be theoretically possible without climate change, even if many would be incredibly unlikely. That's not the case with the record high global temperature averages the world has experienced in recent years, which would have been "essentially impossible" without human influence, according to the report.

Still, in many cases, scientists can now say with confidence that climate change worsened the effects of some events, even if the phenomenon did not cause the entire event. The report points to Hurricane Sandy as a moment when climate change exacerbated the damage, because rising sea levels increased the threat of storm surge, which contributed to flooding in coastal areas in the Northeast. Answering the bigger question of whether climate change increased the intensity or likelihood of storm would be much more difficult, according to the report.

The notion that scientists can assess how much climate change plays into a particular event is not entirely new, but its inclusion now in the National Climate Assessment, the draft report released by the Times this week, gives it a stamp of legitimacy. The National Climate Assessment, produced every four years by Congressional mandate, represents research that has been firmly established in the scientific literature. This view of climate change's relationship to extreme weather also received an important endorsement last year from the National Academy of Science in a report devoted to the topic.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Climate change as a cause of extreme weather has now gone beyond political debates and scientists are now very sure of their research findings. It's time we listen to science.

"Scientists behind the draft National Climate Assessment told the New York Times that they fear the Trump administration may try to scuttle the document because it does not fit with the White House's agenda. President Trump has called climate change a "hoax" and sought to diminish its role in federal policymaking. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders criticized the Times in a statement for not verifying the report with the White House and noted that parts of it have previously been published in draft form. Regardless, now that the report has been published in full, its conclusions are beyond the President's power to kill."
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Why reducing our carbon emissions matters (a little story about climate change)

While it's true that Earth's temperatures and carbon dioxide levels have always fluctuated, the reality is that humans' greenhouse emissions since th
Bert Guevara's insight:
"The massive blast of CO₂ is causing the climate to warm rapidly. The last IPCC report concluded that by the end of this century we will get to more than 4℃ above pre-industrial levels (1850-99) if we continue on a high-emissions pathway. 
"If we work towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, by rapidly curbing our CO₂ emissions and developing new technologies to remove excess CO₂ from the atmosphere, then we stand a chance of limiting warming to around 2℃. 
"The fundamental science is very well understood. The evidence that climate change is happening is abundant and clear. The difficult part is: what do we do next? More than ever, we need strong, cooperative and accountable leadership from politicians of all nations. Only then will we avoid the worst of climate change and adapt to the impacts we can’t halt."
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Stephen Hawking: 'We Are Close to Tipping Point Where Global Warming Becomes Irreversible'

Stephen Hawking: 'We Are Close to Tipping Point Where Global Warming Becomes Irreversible' | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

Stephen Hawking delivered another round of condemnation over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

"We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible," the famed theoretical physicist said. "Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulphuric acid," he told BBC News. 

The University of Cambridge professor made these remarks during his recent interview with BBC News on the occasion of his 75th birthday. 

During the interview, Hawking also lamented Trump's notorious denial of climate science. 

"Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent if we act now," he said. "By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children." 

When asked whether humanity could ever solve our environmental and social problems, the professor was cynical and advocated space travel to ensure the survival of our species. 

"I fear evolution has inbuilt greed and aggression to the human genome," he said. "There is no sign of conflict lessening, and the development of militarized technology and weapons of mass destruction could make that disastrous. The best hope for the survival of the human race might be independent colonies in space."

Bert Guevara's insight:
Let's listen to the scientists, otherwise we may regret the suffering of the ignorants!

"At the conclusion of this year's contentious G-20 summit, the countries released a communique on climate that placed Donald Trump starkly at odds with every other nation present. The communique noted that every country aside from the U.S. recognizes that the Paris agreement is "irreversible," reaffirmed their "strong commitment" and will move "swiftly towards its full implementation in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.""
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Small Change in Average, Big Change in Extremes ("balancing climate elements is difficult")

Small Change in Average, Big Change in Extremes ("balancing climate elements is difficult") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

A small increase in average temperature leads to a big increase in extreme heat.

To understand what’s happening, we need to get a little geeky and take you back to Stats class. The classic bell curve represents the distribution of all temperatures at a location. The bulk of temperatures — those close to average — sit near the middle of the curve. Record temperatures, which are rare, sit on the fringes, with hot on right and cold on the left. As the world warms from the increase in greenhouse gases, the whole curve shifts to the warmer side, the right. This shift results in a large jump in the number of extremely hot days and a drop in the number of extremely cool days. It also means heat records are more likely to be set than cold records. And it is these extremes that impact our lives.

The increase in extreme heat has repercussions for health, farming, and the energy grid that we rely on to stay cool in the summer. More extreme heat raises the risk of heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion, and allows insects to move into new areas, potentially increasing the spread of vector-borne diseases. It stresses crops accustomed to a milder climate and can worsen drought. Extreme heat is also associated with air stagnation, which traps pollutants and can worsen respiratory illnesses like asthma. The additional heat raises the demand for air conditioning, increasing cooling costs and straining the electric grid.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Why are scientists so concerned with a 2-deg C increase in average global temperature? How much will it affect us?

"The increase in extreme heat has repercussions for health, farming, and the energy grid that we rely on to stay cool in the summer. More extreme heat raises the risk of heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion, and allows insects to move into new areas, potentially increasing the spread of vector-borne diseases. It stresses crops accustomed to a milder climate and can worsen drought. Extreme heat is also associated with air stagnation, which traps pollutants and can worsen respiratory illnesses like asthma. The additional heat raises the demand for air conditioning, increasing cooling costs and straining the electric grid."
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World’s First Commercial CO2 Capture Plant Goes Live ("conversion to fertilizer is a brillant idea")

World’s First Commercial CO2 Capture Plant Goes Live ("conversion to fertilizer is a brillant idea") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

The world's first commercial direct carbon capture plant is set to begin operations this week in Switzerland.

A Swiss company on Wednesday is set to become the world’s first to commercially remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into a useful product. 

Climeworks, which will begin operations at a facility near Zurich, Switzerland, plans to compress the CO2 it captures and use it as fertilizer to grow crops in greenhouses. The company wants to dramatically scale its technology over the next decade, and its long-term goal is to capture 1 percent of global annual carbon dioxide emissions by 2025.

The technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, including planting new forests and building facilities that directly remove and capture climate pollution from the air, is in its infancy. It has never been tried at a large scale, and nobody knows if it can be used worldwide to remove enough carbon dioxide to slow warming. 

The Climeworks plant represents the beginning of an industry that is attempting to perfect the technology. Other companies, such as British Columbia-based Carbon Engineering, are also working on direct-air capture plants that will commercially suck carbon dioxide from the air.

“It’s important to note that they will not be permanently storing the CO2 that will be captured,” she said. “Instead, it will be used for greenhouses, producing synfuels, etc. No negative emissions will be generated.” 

Negative emissions can only occur when the captured carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and then locked away forever, she said.

Bert Guevara's insight:
There are many attempts globally to set up large-scale carbon capture plants, but few have gotten off the ground. This carbon-to-fertilizer technology looks promising and the world is eager for it to succeed.

"Climeworks, which will begin operations at a facility near Zurich, Switzerland, plans to compress the CO2 it captures and use it as fertilizer to grow crops in greenhouses. The company wants to dramatically scale its technology over the next decade, and its long-term goal is to capture 1 percent of global annual carbon dioxide emissions by 2025."
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Liverpool's doctors demand urgent action to tackle city's "lethal" air quality (zeroing in vs diesel")

Liverpool's doctors demand urgent action to tackle city's "lethal" air quality (zeroing in vs diesel") | Climate & Clean Air Watch | Scoop.it

City region's Metro Mayor candidates told to make clean air a top priority.

Top doctors and medical experts from around Liverpool are demanding urgent action to tackle the region’s “lethal” air pollution crisis. 

The doctors from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), among other institutions, have sent a letter to candidates taking part in next week’s Metro Mayor election urging whoever wins to use their new powers to make sure the Liverpool City Region meets legal limits for air pollution as soon as possible. 

In the letter, the medics warn: “From Wirral to St Helens, legal limits of air pollution are broken in every single local authority in the Liverpool City Region. But, it doesn’t have to be like this. We have the technology and the tools to clean our air. Now we need our leaders to act.”

One of the signatories, Dr Jamie Rylance, senior clinical lecturer in respiratory medicine at LSTM, told the ECHO: “Everyone is exposed to the potentially lethal effects on their hearts and lungs, especially the most vulnerable: young children, the elderly and people with chronic health problems. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and action at a local level must be taken to protect our communities.” 

The letter cites official figures that estimate almost 270,000 people on Merseyside suffer from chronic health conditions that put them at increased risk when pollution levels are high. 

The letter comes in the wake of a recent High Court ruling that will force the Government to publish an action plan to tackle the deadly levels of pollution in Britain’s major cities. The Government had wanted to put off the publication of its Air Quality Plan until after the election, but the High Court has ruled that the Government must now publish its draft plan by May 9.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Doctors have raised clean air as a major election issue and they are centering on diesel engines that emit nitrogen oxide.

“Everyone is exposed to the potentially lethal effects on their hearts and lungs, especially the most vulnerable: young children, the elderly and people with chronic health problems. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and action at a local level must be taken to protect our communities.”
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